afraid of the dark

Tuesday, November 09, 2010


The headlamp signals the end of one season, the beginning of the next.

I thought this -- coupled with my fashionable reflective vest -- would be all I needed to tackle the dark.

But apparently other things lurk out there that high-visibility gear can't protect you from.

Last week, a woman running on I Street at 5:45 in the morning was attacked. Her attacker clearly wasn't trying to rob her -- runners don't carry much cash, if any at all -- which could only mean he meant to take something worse than money. Luckily, she was able to fight him off and escape.

The incident has affected the Chickenland running community profoundly. It was all we could talk about at the track workout this morning. Our coaches are being extra-careful about making sure everyone is escorted to and from the track and that no one is left alone.

I can't explain how much this scares me. I Street is a fairly regular route for me. Granted, I've never run it in the dark and never that early in the morning, but I've been up and down that street numerous times. The Heart & Sole training group even included it on one of our training runs. It's a staple for runners -- and cyclists too.

I keep thinking: What if it was me? Would I have been able to fight the way she did? Would I have been able to escape? It's downright frightening. Until the police catch this guy, I don't want to run alone. My plan now is to meet running buddies for after-work runs, use my lunch break to get workouts in or join the fun runs held during the week by local running stores.

Anyway, tomorrow a number of Petaluma runners are meeting at 5:30 in the morning for a run/walk to show support for the woman who was attacked. I plan to be there.

4 comments:

Derrick said...

I just bought a reflective vestie thing today!!

Michaela said...

Stylish!

Anonymous said...

when i was a teenager arguing for a later curfew, my parents cited safety as their main concern. in my ridiculously studied rebuttal, i remember citing something i'd found saying most sexual attacks happen between the hours of 5 and 7 a.m., (so 11 p.m. was totally reasonable, i said until it gave them a headache and they relented). i don't remember where i found that, but i think i've seen it again in years since. make sure you and your turtles look out for eachother in the early morning runs! or maybe early morning workouts can always be yoga or a class or something. xoxo, shaya

Michaela said...

Definitely! No running by myself in the morning anymore! For now, I'm sticking to group runs -- the more people, the merrier!

 
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